The European Union today co-hosted in Geneva a 'Pledging Conference on the Rohingya Refugee Crisis'. The Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides has announced the EU's contribution of an additional €30 million for the Rohingya communities in Bangladesh. This comes on the top of over €21 million in overall EU assistance already allocated to Rohingya and host communities in both Bangladesh and Myanmar, bringing the total EU support for this year to over €51 million.
"Today, we stand united for the right cause. The cause of stateless people who have suffered for too long: the Rohingya. The Rohingya deserve nothing less than every other human being in the world. They deserve a future. We have a moral duty to give these people hope. Our humanitarian support will work to provide essentials like water, sanitation, food, healthcare, protection, and education", said Commissioner Stylianides.
Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development Neven Mimica said: "Beyond the immediate response, we need to think of long-term solutions for Rohingya and host populations alike. Whilst the focus should remain on creating an enabling environment for safe and dignified voluntary returns of Rohingya to Myanmar, we need to also ensure that local communities, who are already facing enormous challenges, are not left behind and that we provide them medium and long-term development assistance. Any solution has to inevitably include political dialogue with all parties involved."
Commissioner Stylianides will travel to Bangladesh next week to meet with Rohingya refugees and visit EU aid projects in the affected areas.
The European Union is co-hosting the Pledging Conference on the Rohingya Refugee Crisis, with Kuwait, in Geneva on 23 October, in partnership with the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR).
Of the €30 million announced at the pledging conference €5 million are allocated for emergency humanitarian aid to meet the most urgent needs of the Rohingya population and host communities in Bangladesh; another €5 million to support the registration of arriving Rohingya and a total of €20 million to support early recovery and development actions in the country.
Registration of the Rohingya in line with international standards will enable to better target support, help ensure protection rights and facilitate return when conditions allow.
According to latest estimates, around 600 000 Rohingya have fled from Myanmar to Bangladesh during the past two months, since the exodus began on 25 August following the latest spate of violence. This brings the total number of Rohingya in the Cox's Bazar area in Bangladesh to about 900 000.
Humanitarian aid projects, including EU-funded, are severely limited during the last weeks due to restricted humanitarian access in Myanmar's Rakhine State.
The European Union has been funding humanitarian programmes in Cox's Bazar since 1994 through international NGOs and the UN. Since 2007, the EU has allocated about €157 million to Bangladesh; of which close to €38 million has been allocated for basic health care, water, sanitation, shelter, nutrition, protection and psychological support to the Rohingya.
In Myanmar the EU has provided since 2010 more than €76.5 million in humanitarian aid to vulnerable people in Rakhine state, including in the more isolated northern areas which Christos Stylianides became the first European Commissioner to ever visit, earlier this May. In 2017, the EU is funding projects throughout Myanmar's Rakhine State to address some of the most urgent needs, including food and nutrition, basic health services, water, sanitation, protection and shelter for affected communities displaced by outbreaks of violence in 2012 and 2016.